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Under the skin of the letting market

Here we share news and views on both the local letting market in & around Oxfordshire and all planned and recent legislation.

Jack Frost nipping at your toes

There can be little nicer than sitting inside a cosy house looking out at a beautiful crisp cold winter day.

But the experience quickly becomes less attractive if the heating in your home fails. The cold weather, formerly a beautiful friend, now becomes the enemy – the cold seeps into your bones as the temperature inside the house plummets to that of the chilly outdoors.

Under these circumstances, the duty of a landlord or agent is to repair the heating without undue delay – and there’s the catch. If parts need to be ordered for a system it can take days to get them delivered. And before you even get to that stage, have you tried to get a plumber out in freezing cold weather close to Christmas, when they are completely overloaded with emergency work? So “without undue delay” can often take a week or two.

Resourceful tenants will sometimes go and buy electric heaters to use. But at Oxford letting agents, Finders Keepers, we always like to try to provide that little bit of help to tenants in our managed houses. The Witney office holds a supply of 15 emergency room-heaters, thermostatically controlled, and safe to leave on all night if required.

The recent cold snap resulted in every one of those heaters being out within 3 days in houses where the heating had failed. Using our considerable influence with local contractors, we managed to get plumbers out to most of them within 24 hours, and all the systems are restored.

We’re now rushing around collecting our heaters, ready for the next cold snap expected later this week.